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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  November 16, 2010 4:00am-5:00am EST

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>> imogen, i heard you were in l.a. did you kill anybody with your driving? >> no, i will try to hit one of the pageant parent kids. >> that is horrible and we don't condone it. >> but we will watch it. >> imogen, always a pleasure, bill, you are a disgusting human beingment mick, i am always charmed. i'm greg gutfeld, see you next time. the expiring tax cuts, the number one issue. charles rangel faces a congressional ethics hearing but not for long. his is among the most popular names in the republican presidential pool. in-depth look at mitt romney and a possible second presidential run. live from the studio in washington, this is "special report." good evening, i'm bret baier. the activity level has risen significantly in washington with the return of congress for its lame duck session and the influx of next year's
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freshman class. productivity remains to be seen. chief political correspondent carl cameron looks at people and perspective, old and new, starting with attitude adjustment from the senate top republican. >> day one on capitol hill. in the wake of the g.o.p.'s 2010 midterm gain and republican majority leader mitch mcconnell says he's listening. he reversed years of opposition to support two-year moratorium on the so-called earmarks. >> banning earmarks is another small but important symbolic step we can take to show we're serious. another step on the way to serious and sustained cuts and spending and to debt. >> the white house on fox news sunday signalled support for ending earmarks. the shady spending projects that bypass committees but end up hidden in bills without most lawmakers being aware of them. >> we were pleased with the movement and doing away with the earmarks. >> for mcconnell, it marked a
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political shift and nod for the tea party candidate like rubio and rand paul and nod to the newfound influence. >> the american people sure have chosen outstanding members to join the united states senate. >> a pair of democrats who won special elections were sworn in immediately by the vice president. delaware chris coons coasted to win biden's old seat. manchin barely won the seat in what was an historic g.o.p. year. michele bachmann founder of the congressional tea party caucus along with the south carolina senator jim demint who recruited some of the winners welcomed the house newcomers. >> there will be a new sheriff in town and this sheriff is going to listen to the american people. >> tea party back winners helped make the g.o.p. freshmen class one of the biggest ever. half have no experience on their resume. >> we will make sure we cut borrowing and we cut spending and we cut taxes and we make
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sure we get rid of obamacare. [ applause ] >> reporter: if the white house is signalling a willingness to compromise, nancy pelosi appears left so. the liberal soon to be former house speaker is ignoring e-mails, conversations and two group letters for moderate democrats, urging her to step down as leader in wake of the democrat 2010 defeat. keith shuler, fiscally moderate so-called blue dogs said he would challenge pelosi for minority leader. she's widely believed to have the vote locked up in advance of the leadership election. pelosi wants to keep the same leadership team in the minority. but when you lose gavel you are also supposed to lose seat at leadership table so she has to create a new one. for south carolina democrat jim clyburn she began acuring to him as the assistant leader. he had been the top vote-counter, whip in the senate majority. that job technically now goes to steny hoyer because of
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seniority. so pelosi's reference as the assistant leader leaves some question about the struggle for power between those two. technically, clyburn will answer only to pelosi and in the words of one senior aide, it may be darwinian survival of the fittest to see who prevails in the leadership structure. >> bret: carl, where does the ban on earmarks stand tonight? >> reporter: there will be a meeting tomorrow for republicans behind closed doors where they take informal vote on support for the two-year moratorium. after that, open question. late this afternoon, oklahoma senator inhof took to the floor of the senate for a warning for republican as making the case depending how the earmarks are defined and how it plays out, it's possible that the republicans could see obama type budget pass and not have the old type of legislative tools to hold them under control. they could be stuck with it without the ability to throw in the earmarks. >> bret: much more on this with the panel. thank you. one issue both sides agree must be addressed, expiring
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tax cuts. basically, a giant tax increase. the first of the new year. but white house correspondent mike emanuel reports there is a big gap between the parties on what should be done. >> reporter: aboard air force one before landing in asia, president obama reiterated the the argument against bush tax cut for hiring americans. >> boost the economy. >> reporter: earlier his senior advisor david axelrod spoke what the white house wants lame duck congress to do about the tax cut. >> we have to extend the middle class tax cuts. we have to do that. do it permanently and give people security of knowing the taxes won't go up. that is important for the country. >> it's maintaining the tax rate for the recovery. senator demint hinted to chris wallace about potential compromise. >> i hope we can get a
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permanent extension. if the president wants to compromise on the two or three-year extension, what is important is that the businesses know what the tax rates will be over the next few years. so they can plan growth and plan to add people. >> senator schumer continues to float possible democratic come p compromise on tax for benefit. >> everybody below $1 million gets a tax cut. millionaires and billionaires won't. >> some experts suggest a potential deal could be extending all the tax cuts for a year, in exchange for extension of unemployment benefits or a continue wation of the -- continuation of the tax cut for alternative minimum tax. >> congress will have to deal with the a.m.p. this is expired and about to hit 20 to 24 million taxpayers. so they have to do something. it sounds like a reasonable tradeoff for a one or two-year
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extension of the bush tax cuts. >> there are experts who believe that while the republicans and the president may be interested in cutting a deal, democrats particularly in the house may not be in the mood after the mid-term election. if that is the case, taxes go up in the new year. this becomes item number one on the agenda when the republicans take control of the house. bret? >> bret: mike emanuel live on the north lawn. thank you. retail sales increase by 1.2% in october. double what was expected and the largest amount of seven months. stocks began the week mixed. the s&p gave back 1-1/2. nasdaq dropped 4-1/3. money is at the root of the house ethics hearing for veteran new york congressman charles rangel. from filing taxes late to using house stationery for fundraising, rangel admits the facts but denies intent. correspondent molly henneberg reports today's hearing got underway with money taking center stage. >> embattled new york
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democratic congressman rangel told the house ethics committee today he wasn't staying for his trial. >> with all due respect, since i don't have counsel to advise me, i'm going to have to excuse myself from these proceedings. >> with that, he left. telling the committee his former legal team dropped him this fall, doubtful he'd be able to pay his future legal bills and insisted he hasn't had time to raise money to get a new lawyer. he asked the committee to delay his trial. >> all i'm doing is something for the opportunity to have counsel. >> but the democratic chairwoman of the ethics committee wasn't buying rangel's not enough time argument. >> mr. rangel's counsel withdrew a little over a month ago. further counsel has not been retained. >> she said the trial will continue. >> we recognize mr. rangel has indicated he does not intend to participate and it's his right not to participate.
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>> the 13 ethics charges against rangel include failure to report income on vacation home in dominican republic and illegally using his harlem apartment as campaign office. rangel long maintained his innocence but today, four democrats and four republicans on the panel announced they were in agreement on the facts presented in the case and were going in a closed session to determine if rangel is guilty on any of the counts. rangel was not pleased. >> yes, i saw it on television. >> have you been following it? >> is it fair without you having a lawyer, sir? >> if found guilty on any of the counts the full ethics committee would meet to recommend punishment. there is also report from the "new york post," owned by the parent company of fox news channel that rangel also may be in violation of house rules for using money from the political action committee to pay some of his legal fees. source close to rangel tells
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fox it didn't true. bret? >> bret: molly, thank you. alaska republican senate nominee joe miller says he won't challenge the results of the election if the math does not add up for his campaign. officials are counting write-in votes in the race between miller and write-in candidate, lisa murkowski, the republican incumbent. so far, she has just under 79,000 votes counted. miller's on friday was 87,500. thousands of ballots are waiting to be counted. two more congressman for the race that brings the field to five so far, including former white house chief of staff rahm emanuel who made his announcement saturday. senator braun is expected to declare soon. famous democrat makes a big cameo.
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>> bret: former massachusetts governor mitt romney is usually one of the first people mentioned in the discussion about possible 2012 presidential candidates. along with many positives, romney may be burdened by an issue that's proven to be rallying cry against democrats and president obama.
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>> thank you. this is welcome to the nancy pelosi-harry reid-president obama farewell party. >> bret: if it runs to form, romney might be the favorite to win. in 2008 he was running second before dropping out when it became clear that john mccain would be the nominee. >> mitt romney is absolutely certain to run. of all the candidates, he is the most certain to run. >> bret: he has republican politics in his blood. his father george was governor of michigan and ran for president in 1968, but lost to richard nixon. after amassing reported $200 million fortune on wall street, mitt in 1994, unsuccessfully challenged massachusetts incumbent senator ted kennedy. in 1999, romney took over a scandal-plagued salt lake city olympic committee and turned the 2002 winter games to
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commercial success. the next year he ran for massachusetts governor and won. signature achievement as governor, legislation that extented healthcare coverage to everyone in massachusetts by deploying array of carrots and sticks, such as tax penalties if you didn't buy insurance. romney care was a main selling point when he ran for president in 2008. >> getting our free market finally able to allow citizens to have insurance is something we did in massachusetts. >> bret: but it's turned out to be more and more expensive and less popular as the years passed. when the passage of obamacare caused a nationwide uproar in 2012. obamacare appears to have become mitt romney biggest liability among republican voters. >> i asked specifically about the healthcare that you brought to massachusetts. country rejected obamacare.
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you made the notion that there are great differences. what are the differences in the healthcare? >> our bill was state solution to state problem within the rights of the constitution. obamacare is federal intrusion of power to take over the rights of states and families and the rights of doctors. massive abuse of constitutional power. it needs to be repealed and -- >> bret: he appeared on a number of fox news programs and bill o'reilly hit him on healthcare. >> massachusetts has the highest per capita healthcare cost in the union, in the nation. >> it did before the bill was passed, too. >> isn't the bril supposed to bring the cost down? >> no. >> no? >> what the bill did was we'll solve a problem at the state level. two things that are different
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from obamacare. states should solve the state problem. federal government should not step in as the president has, take away right of state. we had business and healthcare community come together. >> bret: romney would rather talk about something else. >> we'll make changes necessary to maintain entrepreneurship and creavetivity. >> his plan to turn around the economy. >> romney's greatest strength is economics. if we severe dislocation in economics in 2012, romney can save himself as businessman, savior of the olympics and governor of massachusetts. he fits the bill. >> bret: one wonders if romney would have defeated mccain in 2008 if the financial crisis hit a couple months before the primary ended rather than a couple of months after. >> make it very clear i'm not going to raise taxes. as governor of massachusetts i made it clear there and i did not raise taxes. we phased a budget gap and i
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said you know what? some people want to raise taxes but it will hurt families and scare away jobs. it recognize raising taxes could lead to slowdown to our economy. we didn't do it and we balanced the budget. >> bret: he is also a mormon and thought religion might hurt him with voters but not true according to the polls. >> mormonism won't stop romney being president. >> what could hurt him with the conservative voter is his position on abortion. >> i've been personally pro-life. i taught it to others. part of my faith. question for me is what should government do in this setting? >> as an adult, romney changed his position on abortion, not once but twice. >> republicans didn't see him as authentic. they didn't know who is he. is she a conservative? hod rate? >> my friend, your senator, marco rubio. >> brings us to romney's relationship with the tea party movement. he did endorse marco rubio of
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florida. unlike rives sarah palin and jim demint, romney did not jump in early to endorse the anti-establishment candidates such as christine o'donnell or sharron angle. unlike many washington republicans he did not gripe between the tea party candidates won the primaries. instead, he wrote them big checks. >> i want to make sure we're using our energy and all of our breath to get republicans elected tomorrow. >> most believe romney was trying to play it just right for a 2012 run. >> we haven't made our mind up to what the process will be or when we make the final decision. i don't think it's anytime immediately coming down the track. >> if the energy and passion is alive today, spirit going over all of america that says you know what? we'll keep the american dream alive and well. >> bret: our 12 in 2012 series continues tuesday with former alaska governor sarah palin. bill clinton and another
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>> bret: now, the political grapevine. two well-known political commentators are blaming
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democrats in particular for the falloff in the election. bill maher said america is like a dog. sorry, but it is. it cannot understand actual words. it understands inflection, it understands fear, but you can't actually explain issues to a dog. michael moore said white america does not like having a black president. that's just the sad truth. in a separate interview, moore had advice for president obama saying, "the conservative democrats, the majority of them were booted out. the liberals won. president obama should take this country in the progressive direction he was elected to take it in." upcoming sec sequal "hangover" got presidential treatment. president clinton was seen leaving the set for a cameo. he did not respond to our request for comment. finally today was not just the normal day. school day for 13-year-old
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cody alicia. the northern california boy i should say was told, who was told he couldn't in school with an american flag on his bike gained national attention for the controversy. > >> when they asked me to take the flag down, i was upset. >> veterans and others complained and the school relented. this morning, as you can see. dozens of motorcycles showed up to accompany him to school with american flags flying everywhere, including the back of his bike. executives from major lenders will be on capitol hill to talk about foreclosures. what they have been handling properly and how to keep borrowers in their homes. chief washington correspondent jim angle reports that every taxpayer has a stake in the outcome whether you know it or not. >> when you see a foreclosure sign, chances are good that you as a taxpayer are on the hook for the cost involved.
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congress has its own money pit. federal guarantees of mortgages gone bad. >> it's closer to be $500 billion when it's finished. >> one reason the cost is high is the two agencies controlled by the federal government managed lion's share of the mortgage market. >> fannie mae and freddie mac, own or guarantee half the mortgages in this country. >> their role is getting bigger, not smaller. >> they are buying 90% of the loans made in the united states, all the home loans made in the united states today. >> fannie and freddie as they're known now hold 240,000 foreclosures which means additional costs. >> they have to be kept sealed in the winter. they have to be protected against vandalism and so forth. >> the house is abandoned and waiting for someone to strip it out and decide if the
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matches really work. >> in fact, fannie and freddie spent $2 billion in taxpayer money to maintain empty homes and they say foreclosure should be justified then they should go forward so the homes can be sold. >> if we delay the foreclosure it will add the tax to the taxpayer, and the conservator of fannie and freddie, i'm charged to minimize the taxpayer losses and we're working hard to do that. >> they will never recover the total amount they're owed. but the longer we do not foreclosu foreclosure, the worse their losses are going to be. >> with all of that on the table, president obama nominated a new person to run the agency, joseph a. smith. and his previous positions may make the job harder. >> we don't know quite what he is going to do but he knows he has been active in trying to slow down foreclosures in north carolina. >> that could slow down the process of working through bad
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loans and getting qualifiers in the loan. the slower the process, the more it costs the government; meaning, the more it costs you the taxpayer. in washington, jim angle, fox news. >> bret: this just in to fox news. south carolina democratic congressman heath shuler says he will challenge nancy pelosi for the position of house minority leader in the next congress. pelosi will lose her current spot as house speaker, of course, once republicans take control. schumer says the democrats will have better chance to regain seats they lost in the mid-term if pelosi is not the leader in 2012. shuler saying he's making good on campaign promise to challenge her. congress is back and there is a big change. we talk about the lame duck session with the fox all-stars when we come back.
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what i've concluded on the issue of congressional earmarks that the leader of my
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party in the senate, i have to lead first by example. nearly every day that the senate has been in session for the past two years i have come down to this spot and said that democrats were ignoring the wishes of the american people. when it comes to earmarks, i won't be guilty of the same thing. banning earmarks is another small but important somebolic step to show that we are serious, serious on sustained cuts in spending and debt. >> senate minority leader mitch mcconnell says he is listening to the american people, reversing public opposition to earmarks. supporting now a proposed two-year moratorium on the pet projects that have been the focus of a lot of talk on capitol hill as the new congress gets ready in january to come in. white house putting out a statem for president obama, welcome senator mcconnell's decision to join me and member of both parties who support cracking down on wasteful spending which we can't afford
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in the tough economic times in the days and weeks to come. i look forward to working with democrats and republicans to end earmark spending and find other ways to bring down the deficits for our children. what about all of this? bring in the panel. bill kristol, "weekly standard." juan muslim, -- juan williams, fox news cine -- contributor. >> mcconnell did the necessary thing. he was going to lose tomorrow in the congress if it came to a vote. ridiculous to say they can't experiment for earmarks for two years. even if you agree with the theoretical case for earmarks, which i don't, idea that spending for two years is ridiculous. voters want them suspended and they will be, which is good. >> bret: white house is on board. are the senate democrats on board with this? >> i think that everybody now is looking at it, as a matter of symbolism. that's what mcconnell had to
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say today giving a speech. interesting that he thinks it's a bipartisan issue. he doesn't want to see discretion, but now given the you powerful symbolism of the moment and earmarks he is willing to give discretion back to president to see with a he does with it. this is a flip-flop for mcconnell. >> where is the republican establishment that has to be destroyed and fought back? every time the tea party and the anti-establishment movement we hear about comes up with something and it rolls through. i have haven't seen the fighting and opposition that many people predicted that was a trope we heard in them campaign. can republicans hand the outsiders, the tea parties? so far there isn't resistance. >> jim demint this weekend on "fox news sunday" saying, leading the charge, if this is a big win for minute minute and the tea partiers, bill?
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>> not just tea partiers. earmarkers are unpopular with 20, 25% of the public as a hole. win for a republican party. understanding the message. it strengthens jim demint's hand and a bit of a moment for mitch mcconnell. he wouldn't had gone as far out as he has opposing this. he said this is crazy. you are not going to su stain this, but this is important. he's proud of what he as done for kentucky. if you are senator for 25 years you define yourself with senator of kentucky and worthwhile earmarks that you he secured. >> fusion in paducah. >> yeah. >> had to be in paducah. if it had been in the normal legislative process, would
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haven't been efficient. but he swallowed hard to give the statement but i give him credit for doing it. interesting moment where we are seeing that the republican establishment is adapting to the tea party. trent lott, the republican leader said, was quoted in the "washington post" saying the tea partiers will get here and we'll domesticate them. we to get them under in control. it's more the opposite. >> talk about extending the bush era tax cut. the deadline the first of the year. it's a tax increase across the board. if it doesn't get fixed in the next couple of weeks. take a listen to david axelrod, senior advisor to the president this weekend. >> we just can't afford to borrow another $700 billion for tax cuts that almost entirely are going to go to millionaires and billionaires. we just don't have that money. >> we can't afford to go to the additional step and permanently cut taxes pre marely for millions and -- primarily for millionaires and billionaires at a cost of $700
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million. >> "permanent" was the big word there. that's the talking point. >> talking point alert for the week is permanent. they were never that opposed. the white house never that opposed to the concept of a little extension with the tax cut for wealthy. this is a nod and face-saving evident. >> where does it go? the compromise. democrats and republicans sit down at the white house with the president thursday. there are all kind of deals floating out there. schumer has one out there for $1 million or less. other things that would be tied to temporary extension. where do you think we are on the possibility? >> two lines of argument that are current. one is you know what? you've got to have the tax cut in place to boost the economy.
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if you boost the economy, you do so at the expense of the economy. that's the line from the white house. contrary position from the republicans at this point, you need to stabilize the tax rate. it's predictable for businesses going forward. >> bret: keep it where it has been. >> yeah. that's the argument. previously the republican argument had been everybody should be the tax cut. no reason to do away with it. their argument shifted to the business ability stabilizing. it looks to me that they are going to win, republicans will win on extending the tax cut. schumer's effort to try to eliminate it to people making $1 million or less is attractive, but i think t counterargument about the need for stability and just lever it in place is going to carry the day. >> bret: bill? >> three or four-year
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extension for the tax cuts so chris andly get the middle income tax cut and juan can get his millionaire tax cut. [ laughter ] >> bret: we'll leave it there. afghanistan's president wants america to ease up on the taliban. what do you think the u.s. should do? vote in the online poll, the home page at we'll be rightñ÷ when it comes to investing, no one person has all the answers. so td ameritrade doesn't give me just one person. questions about retirement? i talk to their retirement account specialists.
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on president karzai's concerns, we share the concerns. we discuss them on a number of occasions. but we believe that the operation operations are in the best interest of the afghan people. the afghan government. and the isef troops who are
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working with their afghan counterparts. to secure the country. >> some of the things we object to, are things which are being done at this time necessarily to support his government. >> secretary of state and envoy to pakistan talking about president karzai's comments this week, talking to the "washington post." he said this. "the time has come to reduce military operations." the time has come to reduce the presence of, you know, boots in afghanistan. to reduce the intrusiveness in the daily afghan life." he went on to say that the nighttime special operation raids were a problem and critical of the american operation overall which prompted concern from general david petraeus. >> back with the panel. how big a problem is this, bill? >> not a big problem. i e-mailed someone working with general petraeus. he said look, this is business
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as usual with arkarzai. what made this a big story is the post, saying that the criticism hurts the war evident. i was looking for where is the quotation from david petraeus? there is none. this is official say that petraeus said this in a meeting with karzai. the two remain direct quotations from the foreign diplomat in kabul, european diplomat who is unhappy with what karzai said. my impression with the person i communicated today, karzai is a difficult partner but they're not panicked and they will go ahead and do what they're doing. al-maliki in iraq said several things. didn't stop him from counterinsurgency war in 2007 and 2008. >> juan? >> i have a different point of view. it undermines support for the war effort at home. what general petraeus said is the surge, with the added boots on the ground to book up the language that karzai used,
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there is more of a presence. that we don't intend to win it by all-out warfare. special operation mushtarak ration, done at night, are done with great care. when there is a botched effort it comes at a cost. it understand that. but our entire effort is based on petraeus being a fabulous man in a difficult situation. if you have karzai as an unreliable partner but critic it's more difficult. >> if you go to woodrow's book that how they thought karzai was unstable and perhaps still do. what about the caris caris
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storyline and how the u.s. prosecutes the war. >> now we know the president took the 2011 timeline is so he didn't "lose the democratic party." now he has the 2014. he says it's the real target. the administration says that's the real target. but that is designed to keep republicans on board. it means he's reliept on republican support to prosecute the war. question is as we have republicans who are less certain about prosecuting the war and less certain of prosecuting it with karzai if he is uncertain sentinel for liberty in afghanistan, then it's becoming a problem. as you point out, this is a serious problem because you start to lose political coalition behind the war. >> republicans right now, bill, seem like they are backing the president. how he is doing anything on afghanistan.
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>> the comments aren't helpful. we had an excellent ambassador to iraq jack crocker -- ryan crocker, sorry, who worked hand in hand with dave petraeus in 2007 and 2008. everyone agrees the ambassador to afghanistan ikenberry cannot get in the door to see karzai. he ruined ties there. there was talk that ikenberry would be replaced but he hasn't been. if we are fighting to win, get the diplomat in afghanistan with the best general. >> bret: karzai admitted taking bag of cash from iran. he talked about corruption in the interview with the "washington post" saying it's an american allegation. >> not against his brother. that's a fact. >> the big picture is we want success there and be guaranteed we'll be able to
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not only have a withdrawal date but a strategy in place to allow us to be secure. that we have staying power. we have to have a strategy laid out by general petraeus. >> bret: that's it for the panel. stay tuned for the latest political ads to hit the airwaves.
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>> bret: finally tonight, you thought they were finished. you thought you would get a break just for a few months. already a new political ad has hit the television airwaves and with the 24 hour news cycle, this party is betting that parties will want instant results. ♪ >> americans are fed one politicians who don't get results. despite their grand rhetoric, things just haven't improved. it's been


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